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BLEND-ONLINE  February 2014

BLEND-ONLINE February 2014

Subject:

Re: Synchronous solutions..

From:

John Farquhar <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 00:54:24 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (83 lines)

Does anyone know of any school using Microsoft Lync as their primary synchronous tool for instructional activities?

Lync is currently available to all of our faculty and will become the standard for our VOIP system being deployed over the next two years. Lync is also suppose to come with our student implementation of MS Office 365. And, while I haven't seen the Office 365 version, its my understanding that students will be able to originate video calls themselves.

We've been running Bb Collaborate, but anticipate migrating faculty to Lync as it becomes a standard tool for us. But, I have yet to hear of any school that has done this.

Thanks,

jf

John D. Farquhar, Ph.D.
Manager, Centers for Teaching, Learning & Technology
Academic Technology & User Services
Western Washington University

(360) 650-6538

________________________________________
From: The EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Clark Shah-Nelson [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 7:28 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BLEND-ONLINE] Synchronous solutions..

So many different systems and use cases from so many institutions. It's interesting to see what various institutions are using, how, and especially, why.

I've been curious lately to know what students and faculty would say if we asked them: what types of things would you like to do in your online learning environment that you can't currently do? Or: what is tedious to do that could be made easier for you to accomplish your learning goals?

Thinking about synchronous tools and activities, I have a feeling that one thing we would hear would be that it would be great if, in addition to having the ability for the instructor to set up pre-determined synchronous activities in Connect/Collaborate/BBB/WebEx etc. one could easily, from, say, a course home page, (without having to click to some separate area) see which other students are online - (perhaps with some optional filtering ability to show only certain people you "follow" or "circles" you have set up) and not just start up a chat or IM with one of them (like you can in Moodle with the Online Users block), but select several, and invite them to conference (function: ad hoc easy synchronous group formation with  a/v, screensharing, chat, whiteboard). (Hangouts seems to come closest to have this type of ability natively but I've not seen it fully integrated into an LMS. Recording is still a bit of an issue as well, unless you want to broadcast the stream live on YouTube.)

I also wonder if we wouldn't hear how great it would be to have full Twitter integration (or at least posting and hashtag aggregation ability), both in the synchronous tool and in other parts of the LMS (discussion forum especially, course home page)...

I also suspect maybe students would really like to have an LMS where they could more fully contribute to the learning environment - with ability to create their own quizzes, learning modules and paths, etc. but I digress...

Have to say one thing about Adobe Connect (version 8? 9?- I'm a bit surprised at how challenging it still seems to be to work with the audio. It seems like, unlike Google Hangouts and Skype which seamlessly handle built-in internal microphones and external speakers quite well with very few echo problems, with Connect, it seems if anyone uses external speakers instead of a headset it  results in very bad echo problems - and quite a lot of microphone management is necessary, but perhaps there are some settings which can make it work more seamlessly with built-in microphones and speakers?

Thanks to all for sharing!

Clark Shah-Nelson, Sr. Instructional Designer
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
IM, Skype, Twitter: clarkshahnelson



On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:19 AM, Ed Garay <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
I think, Google Hangouts and Skype are great choices for small group real-time conferencing. Students seem to like them very well. I often use Hangouts and Skype for virtual office hours.

On the other hand, for an institutional high-capacity, feature-rich, business quality real-time conferencing platform, Adobe Connect stands out above the rest.

--- Ed Garay, UIC
________________________________
From: Meagher, Tina<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 2/12/2014 11:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [BLEND-ONLINE] Synchronous solutions..

Hello,

I am leading a project group that is looking into a synchronous solution for student to students and faculty to student interactions. We recently started to use Canvas for our LMS and slowly moving away from Bb. Many of the faculty were using Wimba for synchronous classes and moments. Now faculty and students are using a combination of Big Blue Button, Webex, Skype and Google hangouts. We are trying to find a single solution for this. Can anyone let me know what they are using at their school for synchronous classes or moments, student group work and virtual office hours. Thanks so much for your time…

Tina
-------
Tina Meagher
Manager
Video and Digital Media Services
The Digital Media Lab
http://www.xavier.edu/dml
T:  (513) 745-3682<tel:%28513%29%20745-3682>

Xavier University
3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45207-0000



********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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